Before I offer deeper thoughts on the president's State of the Union Address (in which he killed, by the way) last night - which will come in a different column - it just wouldn't be any fun if we didn't get a chance to point and laugh at the GOP thanks to the impromptu theater that is now and forever #SOTUBURN.
"I have no more campaigns to run," said the president, in keeping with the theme of moving beyond partisan politics for the good of the country. Republicans interrupted, displaying blatant disrespect by cheering (presumably) the fact that President Obama is in the final quarter of his presidency. The President then unleashed - impromptu and to the delight of Democrats in the chamber - the immortal words of the night: "I know, because I won both of them."
While the zinger took off on social media with warp speed, I believe there was a more poignant message the president sent to the Republicans with this instant legend: don't mess with me. With that one line, the President reminded Republicans that they are no match for him. That while he has always been willing to set aside politics and take hits from his own ideological base to compromise for the good of the country, he is ready to meet the GOP's attempt to dismantle his legacy with devastating blows.
This is not a new message from the president. Again and again, he has outwitted and outmaneuvered the GOP, most of the times with little to no help from his own party, I might add.
He walked into the lion's den - to a Republican Congressional Retreat - where they thought they had him. The entire session was telecast, and at its end, he left his hosts embarrassed and begging for mercy.
He decapitated Mitt Romney's dream to move into the White House with a single sentence: "Please proceed, governor."
Again and again, he won policy victories - from health care and Wall Street reform to raising taxes on the wealthy while protecting middle class tax cuts to ending wars and refocusing the fight against terrorism - against the worst Republican efforts to the contrary. And while liberal ideologues and Democratic voters who sat home handed two midterms to the GOP, on the elections that the president has been on the ballot, he routed Republicans in major landslide victories.
If Republicans were an intelligent party, they would know by now that they are no match for Barack Obama - the whole bunch of the put together are no match for that one man. And that's the message President Obama is sending. Republicans better be careful if they want to declare war on this president. He intends to win it.